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Food and Chemical Toxicology
Vol. 120, 2018, Pages: 616-624

Cyanobacterial pigments: Perspectives and biotechnological approaches

Dinesh Kumar Saini, Sunil Pabbi, Pratyoosh Shukla

Enzyme Technology and Protein Bioinformatics Laboratory, Department of Microbiology, Maharshi Dayanand University, Rohtak, 124001, Haryana, India.


Cyanobacteria are the oxygenic photosynthesis performing prokaryotes and show a connecting link between plastids of eukaryotic autotrophs and prokaryotes. A variety of pigments, like chlorophyll, carotenoids and phycobiliproteins which exhibit different colors are present in cyanobacteria. Increasing consciousness about the harmful effects of synthetic or chemical dyes encouraged people to give more preference towards the usage of natural products, such as plant or microbial-derived colors in food and cosmetics. That is why cyanobacteria are exploited as a source of natural colors and have high commercial value in many industries. This review mainly focuses on different cyanobacterial pigments, their applications and modern biotechnological approaches such as genetic engineering, systems biology to enhance the production of biopigments for their potential use in pharmaceuticals, food, research, and cosmetics industries.

Graphical abstract

Keywords: Cyanobacteria, Biopigments, Phycobiliprotein, Chlorophyll, Metabolic engineering, Systems biology.

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